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RECIPES FOR YOUR SWEETHEART

Recipe: For your sweetheart, layer dark chocolate caramel bark with pretzels and peanuts

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 8

This delightfully simple chocolate bark will sweeten the day for your Valentine or Galentine. Instead of almonds and fruits that typically go into bark, this recipe uses pretzels and peanuts. Add small pretzel twists or sticks, roughly chopped (rods and thick twists will work in a pinch, but they aren't ideal). For the peanuts, use roasted nuts, salted or unsalted, depending on your affinity for salt. Spread the two on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, melt butter with brown sugar in a saucepan and let it simmer until it starts to form a caramel. Pour this over the pretzels and peanuts, then finish cooking the caramel in the oven. Instead of fussing with a double boiler or melting chocolate in the microwave, simply sprinkle chocolate chips on the caramel and let the heat of the sugar do all the work. Once the chocolate is gooey and melty, use a spatula to cover the caramel completely and season lightly with a bit of sea salt. The bark will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator, but let's face it, there's a strong chance it will all be eaten long before that.

1cup chopped pretzel twists or sticks
¼cup salted or unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
1cup dark brown sugar
2cups (12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Sea salt (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Spread the pretzels and peanuts on the baking sheet to make one layer. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may not need to spread the pretzels to the edges.

3. In a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook without stirring for 3 minutes.

4. Pour the sugar mixture over the pretzels and peanuts. Use the tip of a knife (not your fingers) to move any stray pretzels or peanuts into the sugar. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on a heatproof surface. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on the caramel. Let it sit for 5 minutes while the chocolate melts. With an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate around the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt.

6. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until completely set. Break into uneven pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 8

This delightfully simple chocolate bark will sweeten the day for your Valentine or Galentine. Instead of almonds and fruits that typically go into bark, this recipe uses pretzels and peanuts. Add small pretzel twists or sticks, roughly chopped (rods and thick twists will work in a pinch, but they aren't ideal). For the peanuts, use roasted nuts, salted or unsalted, depending on your affinity for salt. Spread the two on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, melt butter with brown sugar in a saucepan and let it simmer until it starts to form a caramel. Pour this over the pretzels and peanuts, then finish cooking the caramel in the oven. Instead of fussing with a double boiler or melting chocolate in the microwave, simply sprinkle chocolate chips on the caramel and let the heat of the sugar do all the work. Once the chocolate is gooey and melty, use a spatula to cover the caramel completely and season lightly with a bit of sea salt. The bark will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator, but let's face it, there's a strong chance it will all be eaten long before that.

1cup chopped pretzel twists or sticks
¼cup salted or unsalted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up
1cup dark brown sugar
2cups (12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Sea salt (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Spread the pretzels and peanuts on the baking sheet to make one layer. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may not need to spread the pretzels to the edges.

3. In a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the butter and brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook without stirring for 3 minutes.

4. Pour the sugar mixture over the pretzels and peanuts. Use the tip of a knife (not your fingers) to move any stray pretzels or peanuts into the sugar. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set on a heatproof surface. Immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on the caramel. Let it sit for 5 minutes while the chocolate melts. With an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate around the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt.

6. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until completely set. Break into uneven pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.Karoline Boehm Goodnick